Pub’s ‘poorly written’ menu slammed for discriminating against allergy sufferers
A restaurant in Sydney, Australia has not opened yet but has already been mired in controversy, after a “poorly written” menu disclaimer seemingly targeting allergy sufferers prompted backlash from the community.
The Marsden Brewhouse, a $45 million venture by hotelier family Laundys in Marsden Park, is set to open next Tuesday, April 2, as per 9News on March 25. The pub, however, was compelled to do damage control and issue an apology after they were called out online for their menu.
The pub’s menu, which was posted on their website, included a disclaimer which seemed to disregard those who suffer from allergies.
The disclaimer read: “NO ALTERATIONS. Please be advised we do not allow alterations to our menu. Our menu contains nuts, gluten and other allergens, please take this into consideration.”
This prompted community members and the Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australian (AAA) group to call out the pub online.
Some found it ridiculous the pub was not willing to accommodate people with allergies, while others pointed out their incapability for proper food handling.
“Bit of a joke when you won’t accommodate for people with allergies, makes it very hard,” said a certain Rhiannon Newby last March 23. “It’s not like you have to cook a completely separate meal if you just wanted to leave the cheese off a burger for instance.”
“It appears this place is incapable of proper food handling if you can’t cater for the need of people with food allergy,” said one Miriam Spiess. “Discriminating against those who have an auto immune life threatening condition is hardly community minded. Anaphylaxis is not a life style choice it is a medical condition.”
The AAA also called out the pub on their Facebook page asking if it were acceptable to have a food service that refused to take any food alterations.
“People with food allergies diagnosed by a medical doctor don’t CHOOSE to have them,” the AAA said. “Food allergy is not a lifestyle choice.”
Following the backlash, the pub took to their page on March 25 to apologize for the disclaimer.
“The Marsden Brewhouse team would like to apologize for the below poorly written disclaimer on our menu which presented some ambiguity,” they said.
WE ARE SORRY! The Marsden Brewhouse team would like to apologise for the below poorly written disclaimer on our menu…
They also clarified they have vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options in their menu, and are willing to assist those with other allergic requests.
“We would like to clarify that we already have 19 Vegetarian/Vegan Options and 19 Gluten Free Options on our menu and will where possible assist with other allergic requests,” the pub added, “However we cannot 100% guarantee that we are totally allergen free.”
Meanwhile, Maria Said, chief executive officer of AAA, said in the report that she was “aghast and disappointed” over the pub’s menu disclaimer. However, she is pleased that they apologized after hearing feedback from the community.
“It’s great that they have noted their mistake and are making a change to their disclaimer,” she said in the report. “We don’t want a guarantee but we do want to be able to eat a meal knowing our allergy has been taken seriously.” Cody Cepeda/JB
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